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August Record Set for Cattle on Feed with 11.1 Million Head Reported

Nearly half a million more cattle were added to feedlots since August last year.

According to the latest USDA Cattle on Feed report, the 4.6% increase in the Aug. 1 inventory resulted in 11,093,000 cattle in feedlots. The 489,000 additional cattle resulted in the highest inventory for August since the 1996 report began.

Despite the year-over-year increase the amount of cattle on feed fell by 194,000 head since July 1, a drop of 1.7%.

Placements for July reached 1.74 million head, a rise of 7.9% compared to the same time in 2017. The most popular class of cattle to be place were 700-799 lb. followed closely by calves weighing less than 600 lb. The placements went as follows:

  • 700-799 lb. = 415,000 head
  • Less than 600 lb. = 410,000 head
  • 800-899 lb. = 367,000 head
  • 600-699 lb. = 290,000 head
  • 900-999 lb. = 175,000 head
  • 1,000 lb. and greater = 85,000 head

Fed cattle marketing for July was up 5% since last year with 1.87 million head going through packers.

State-by-state the largest gains for cattle on feed inventory were seen in the Southwest with Arizona and California both seeing a nearly 22% increase from 2017. The state to see the biggest drop in percentage was South Dakota at approximately 9%.

The top five cattle feedlot inventory states are as follows:

  1. Texas 2,720,000 head
  2. Nebraska 2,330,000 head
  3. Kansas 2,230,000 head
  4. Colorado 890,000 head
  5. Iowa 700,000 head

No states reported a gain in inventory from July to August.

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